The defense was severely cut and reorganized following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Kyrgyzstan has been a member of the CSTO, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, since 1992, with Russian Federation.
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The defense is based on general military duty and (2008) comprises 11,000 men, of which the army has 8,500 men with 3 brigades and the air force 2,400 men with 52 older fighter aircraft. The material is of Soviet origin and semi-modern. Semi-military security forces amount to 9,500 men.
Defense spending decreased in 1996-2006 from 2.6% to 1.3% of GDP. Kyrgyzstan participates in UN peacekeeping operations with observers in Ethiopia/Eritrea, Liberia and Sudan. Denmark, the Russian Federation and the United States support air operations and/or air transport operations in Afghanistan from Kyrgyzstan. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that KYR stands for Kyrgyzstan.
2010 Revolution II
Kyrgyzstan was hit by the global economic crisis and, at the end of 2009, faced increasing energy problems. Over the winter, therefore, the country was hit by rolling power cuts, and in February 2010, the authorities announced that heat would rise by 400% and electricity prices by 170%. It triggered general dissatisfaction and at the same time increased dissatisfaction with the government due to its corruption. In the spring, Russia’s support for the government also diminished after President Bakiev decided to lease the Manas air base to the United States. Russian-controlled media launched a campaign against the president, accusing him of corruption.
On April 1, Russia imposed duties on its oil and gas exports to Kyrgyzstan, and this immediately broke through in prices. On April 6, therefore, about 1,000 protesters attacked public buildings in western Kyrgyzstan. The buildings were occupied but later recaptured by security forces. On April 7, the demonstrations spread to the capital, where police first used tear gas, rubber bullets and pacifier grenades against the protesters, to later switch to sharp ammunition. About 88 were killed and 1,000 injured in the ensuing fighting. Still, protesters first managed to storm Parliament and later occupy the state TV station.
On April 15, Bakiyev went into exile in Kazakhstan and at the same time filed his resignation as president. From Kazakhstan, he flew to Belarus a few days later, where on the 21st he declared that he still considered himself the president of his country.
It was the ousted President Bakiyev who had secured the United States the right to use the Manas air base that has a strategic bearing on the war of superpower in Afghanistan. The United States therefore criticized the protesters from the beginning in April, and after the opposition took power, the superpower declared that it continued to regard Bakiyev as the country’s president. Others, by UN Secretary-General Ban Kee Moon, on the other hand, described Bakiyev’s departure as an important step towards democracy in the country.
The transitional government, led by Roza Otunbayeva, declared after a few days that it would hold elections in 2011. Otunbayeva is barred by the constitution from running for that election.
In mid-June, an ethnic conflict in southern Kyrgyzstan broke out between Kyrgyz and Uzbek people. The conflict was possibly triggered by supporters of deposed President Bakiyev, costing several hundred killed, 2,000 wounded over the course of several days, and sending 100-250,000 on the run. 45,000 of them to neighboring Uzbekistan.
In May 2011, a commission of inquiry headed by President Roza Otunbayeva issued a report on the June 2010 massacre. As a result of the investigation, 5,000 charges were raised, but although almost all victims were Uzbek, 83% of those accused of killing were also Uzbek. Uzbek people were routinely sentenced to a few years in prison for life. Often on “confessions” forced during torture. The country’s Supreme Court upheld those judgments.